LOW FAT/ NO FAT, SUGAR-FREE, LOW CARB----UGH! These are bad words in my mind. Why? Because they bring on the same thinking that the word SALAD does. It makes me think of DIETING! Which is the last thing I want to be doing, ever again. Diets don't work. Because you have to cut something from what you are eating. Cutting carbs, cutting fat, cutting calories. And those are impossible things to do long term. What does work is making true life changes to how you eat, learning to eat the right amounts of foods and the right kinds of food!
Why do I hate these words, because although the thought behind them might be right...the context that we think about them is incorrect.
LOW FAT/NO FAT- UGH! We need fat in our diet! WE NEED it for our bodies to work right. The key is eating the right kinds of fats that your body actually needs and the correct amount. Honestly, I drink whole milk, and I eat real butter. I can't stand skim or fat free milk. Reason....it has been overly processed to get the fat out of it for skim milk. But again we need the fat. Good sources of fat: Small amount of olive oil, thin slices of avocado, full fat greek yogurt, even a limited number of nuts. The key to fats, what we need is a LOW AMOUNTS OF FATS IN OUR DIET!
SUGAR FREE- If you see something listed as "sugar-free" stay far far away from it. Because yes, there might not be actual cane sugar or sugar in it, but instead there is going to be some kind of a sweetener in it that is man made. A chemical based sweetener or an artificial sweetener that your body won't know how to process as easily as just regular old plain sugar. Think High Fructose Corn Syrup. I'm not saying to go and start eating massive amounts of cane sugar. But if you make oatmeal and add a teaspoon of brown sugar to it, it's not going to ruin anything. The key is to reduce the amount of sugar that you eat. If you ditch sweets and treats and just eating processed foods you actually will cut a lot of sugars from your diet.
LOW CARB- Again, when I hear low carb I think no carbs at all. Because the first thing I used to think about as carbs was bread, pasta, pastries. And for the most part, yes this is true. We need carbs. And compared to the regular American diet, we actually need to LOWER THE AMOUNT OF CARBS EATEN! When our body processes a carbohydrate it turns it into a fast burning energy. It is the body's sugar in a way (protein is the slow burning energy). What you want to cut from your diet is the simple carbohydrates, sugar cereals, white flour breads, regular pasta. EAT THE COMPLEX CARBS! Complex carbs are: Oatmeal, quinoa, brown rice, brown pasta.
In the end, learning the context for these terms, not just the fad diet terms is what is going to help you in the long run. This is why I love the 21 Day Fix program so much because it encourages you to eat all the food groups, including sugar. (chocolate is allowed on 21 Day Fix!) Because we need our bodies to work correctly, and we still need treats, at least I do, otherwise a huge binge of the wrong kinds of food will happen and that is the last thing anyone wants to do while trying to change their eating habits!